TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Dress rehearsals have come to a close, and final preparations are underway to make sure this year's Nutcracker performance is magical.
"I performed this last year; I've done this before, it's not completely new to me, but I have a new partner," said Lilit Hogtanian.
The two principal dancers from out of town are making sure they have their choreography perfect.
"It's really tough. It's a lot longer than a lot of classical ballets. You're wearing white tights, you've got to be together."
Lilit Hogtanian, 25, and George Sanders, 27, both of the Memphis Ballet, arrived in Tyler Thursday morning ahead of Friday's debut.
Lilit is playing the Sugarplum Fairy.
"There's a lot of finding your character. She's a fairy so she's light, ephemeral, being there is a lot of working on the technique, and how your partner is going to lift you and there's a lot of synching with your partner," Lilit said.
George, who plays the cavalier, says the Nutcracker is special because many dancers perform in it as kids, and then grow up to take on the big roles.
"The Nutcracker is one of the first shows as a dancer you're in. I was a little mouse, I did the party scene, and Clara, now that I am older, there's nostalgia. It's like revisiting your childhood," Lilit said.
George says that, unlike in other countries, the Nutcracker is performed all across America.
"I want you to feel something when we dance. I want you to feel something just by coming to the theatre. We lose a lot of art in America, and art is culture; that's really important."